Borna Coric lived to fight another day on Friday when he saved one match point to edge into the Libema Open semi-finals. The second-seeded Croatian recovered from 2-5 down in the third set to knock out seventh seed Cristian Garin of Chile 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(6) in two hours and 30 minutes.
Coric fought back and saved one match point with his 16th ace of the match at 5/6 in the deciding-set tie-break to set up a clash against Adrian Mannarino of France.
“It was obviously a very, very tough match as I was 2-5 down in the third set, a double break,” Coric told ATPTour.com. “I was packing my bag on the changeover, but then I maybe relaxed and played a little bit better. I turned the match around somehow. I’m not too tired and now I have 20 hours to recover.”
Almost 12 months ago, Coric lifted his second ATP Tour trophy with victory over Roger Federer in the Noventi Open final in Halle. The 22-year-old reached the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals in February and is now 19-10 in 2019.
The 23-year-old Garin was unable to convert two break points on Coric’s serve at 5-5, 15/40, but won six of the first seven points in the tie-break and eventually closed out on his fourth set point. Two groundstroke errors from Garin saw Coric break twice — at 3-3 and 3-5 — in the second set, before the World No. 32 bounced back to lead 5-2 in the decider. Coric then won 16 of the next 21 points to lead 6-5.
In a little more than four months, Garin has risen from No. 95 in the ATP Rankings on 4 February to a career-high No. 32. He has compiled a 22-9 match record in 2019, including two ATP Tour titles at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship (d. Ruud) and at the BMW Open by FWU (d. Berrettini). He also reached the Brasil Open final in Sao Paulo (l. to Pella).
Mannarino recorded his first win over fifth-seeded Belgian David Goffin 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the pair’s fifth meeting, which lasted two hours and 26 minutes. Goffin, who won the first four games of the match, was unable to convert one break point at 5-5 in the second set.
Elsewhere, Jordan Thompson advanced to his first ATP Tour semi-final with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over fellow Australian Alex de Minaur, the third seed, in just under two hours. De Minaur had recorded wins over Thompson in the first two weeks of the season at the Brisbane International and at the Sydney International.
Having gone 1-11 at tour-level in 2018, the 25-year-old is already 18-11 on the season with his third Top 30 victory of 2019, which includes wins over Karen Khachanov and Grigor Dimitrov at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.
Defending champion Richard Gasquet needed to play two matches on Friday. The eighth seed first beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3 in 84 minutes, starting with a 6-4, 1-2 lead carried over from Thursday night. The Frenchman then returned six hours later to knock out Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 7-6(8), 6-4 for a place in the semi-finals. He saved three set points at 5/6, 6/7 and 7/8 in the first set tie-break.